Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Room With A View

I've pondered what I was going to write about for the better part of my waking hours, which given the fact that I'm fighting bronchitis and slept the best part of the day is probably not as impressive as it sounds. Instead of watching the talk shows one of my best friends insists on recounting to me whenever I talk to her, I watched shows from the History Channel - both of them, National Geographic channel, and the military channel. Spending the day on the couch, and it was a beautiful, bright, sunny, and warm day too, reminded me how good it was to be able to do that.

Before I moved to my current abode, I never had my own office, a place I could write and outfit as my own. When after a year and a half of having my own office I had to give it up for a roommate, it became apparent that my own space is needed. I have friends who don't have offices, they have a specific spot or spots in the house that is their 'office' and they're very successful. So, an office isn't necessary for writing, but space specific to writing seems to be. I'm in the process of reclaiming my office. There are books and photos and knickknacks everywhere. Not everything is where I want it or is even visible, but it is a great space to write in.

Reclaiming or claiming a space to write in is important for all writers. Whether it's a completely decked out office or an easy chair in the living room, space to write is important. So is time. Finding time is more difficult to carve out than space. Finding time requires taking personal, private time that has no outwardly productive value as it can be measured. It doesn't produce clothes, food, quilts, or blankets. It produces part of a story and over time an entire story that may or may not be picked up for publication by a house. Heck, it may not even be submitted to a house. I have a friend who is a rather prolific writer - she hit 115K DURING NANO - each of the last two years running. Research and plots up until October 31st and starts writing on November 1st, but she has no intention of seeking publication - and she's good. She just refuses to submit anything. But regardless of the destination of a story, in order to write, one must not only make time, but also accept the fact that it is actually okay to take time for one's self in order to do something that may be as necessary as breathing.

There is an argument that one can only write when the muse strikes, however, the counter argument that discipline leads to an increase in creativity is also a valid one. Waiting until you feel the desire/need to write may mean waiting years to write because of stress, life, or other complications. Scheduling time to write every day and writing every day may mean, that yes, you have to throw out 3/4's of what you wrote, but it's still at least 1/4 more than you had before. And it's possible that some of that stuff that was thrown away is salvageable and useable elsewhere.

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